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Toyota Electrification Plans To Boost Presence In Asia-Pacific EV Market

Toyota Electrification Plans To Boost Presence In Asia-Pacific EV Market

Toyota is set to unveil the concept version of the first model in its new battery electric vehicle (BEV) series, the Toyota bZ4X, in Shanghai and establish a full line-up of EVs to reduce CO2 emissions with the aim of having 70 electrified models by 2025.

Following this news, Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Toyota presently has only 4 BEVs in its portfolio and the new launches will enhance its position in the Japan and global BEV market. Several global OEMs, including Toyota, presently do not have a strong BEV portfolio due to their strategic priorities, low volumes and profitability concerns with battery vehicles. But the EV scenario has changed rapidly and there are significant opportunities in EV space due to push from the regional governments, reduction in costs and the availability of wide-range of products.

In addition to global market, Toyota’s BEV portfolio expansion will help it to tap significant opportunities in its home market, Japan, which presently does not have attractive BEV offerings and is witnessing high growth in demand for BEVs from select players such as Nissan and Tesla. Nissan’s Leaf is the only popular and successful BEV available for the mass market in Japan. While Tesla caters to the premium segment with sales of nearly 2,000 units annually.

In the recent past, Asia-Pacific has witnessed major developments in the EV market. Players such as Hyundai are trying to lead with innovative products and standout features while technology companies such as Huawei, Sony and Xiaomi are trying to penetrate the BEV market. The market is getting fiercely competitive day by day and automakers need to respond with suitable products to make their future sustainable.”

 

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Hyundai Motor And Singtel Collaborate To Advance Singapore’s Smart Mobility Ecosystem And Industry 4.0 Journey

Hyundai Motor And Singtel Collaborate To Advance Singapore’s Smart Mobility Ecosystem And Industry 4.0 Journey

Hyundai Motor Company and Singtel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on a range of ventures to support smart manufacturing, connectivity for electric vehicle battery subscription service. The MOU follows Hyundai Motor Group’s announcement in October 2020 that it is setting up a new state-of-the-art Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore (HMGICS) to conduct studies on future mobility and explore innovative solutions, services and disruptive technologies to revolutionise commuters’ transport experience.

Hyundai Motor will combine its expertise in developing innovative automotive and manufacturing solutions with Singtel’s capabilities in 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), and next generation info-communications technologies and solutions to develop Industry 4.0 advanced digital solutions to   transform the way vehicles are currently manufactured. The parties will develop and pilot a 5G-enabled smart factory use case for HMGICS’ intelligent manufacturing platform, and potentially scaling it up for deployment across Hyundai’s manufacturing plants globally.

“Hyundai is delighted to work with Singtel, implementing next-generation communication solutions that will enhance mobility experiences for our customers,” said Hong Bum Jung, Senior Vice President of HMGICS at Hyundai Motor Company. “We also hope to explore future innovative solutions and business opportunities with Singtel to help realise Singapore’s Smart Nation vision.”

Hyundai and Singtel will also work together on an IoT communications solution for the batteries powering Hyundai’s electric vehicles (EVs) in Singapore. The IoT system enables Hyundai to monitor the telemetry, or automatic data transmission, of the batteries’ real-time status and performance. The data-driven insights can enhance the EVs’ reliability, advancing Singapore’s EV ecosystem and Smart Nation vision of connected and sustainable mobility solutions.

Andrew Lim, Managing Director, Government and Large Enterprise, Group Enterprise at Singtel said, “Our collaboration with Hyundai Motor is timely given the Singapore Government’s decision to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040 and the recent Budget announcement on new policies to encourage more Singaporeans to switch to driving electric vehicles. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible with 5G, IoT and other advanced technologies, we also want to build up Singapore’s smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 capabilities and strengthen its innovation ecosystem.”

 

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Globaldata: VW Group Bets Big On Industrial Scale To Counter Tesla

Globaldata: VW Group Bets Big On Industrial Scale To Counter Tesla

Following Volkswagen (VW) Group’s annual results conference for investors at which it set out its transformation to ‘new auto’ which includes the switch to electric drives;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Volkswagen is turning to its natural industrial strength – especially in the form of standardised technical foundations and engineering architectures that can be spread across multiple brands to leverage scale economies.

Now though, it has to manage a platform roadmap that includes much software as well as hardware and brings together critical advanced technologies on platforms that must deliver the promised improved performance at much lower cost.

Much hinges on VW’s new unified battery cell and six yet to be built cell-making ‘gigafactories’ in Europe that VW believes can reduce the cost of its battery cells by up to 50 percent by 2030.

If VW can follow its ambitious roadmap for e-mobility and leverage the scale economies it is targeting, it will certainly be competitive in the rapidly growing global electric car market and a credible rival for current market leader Tesla.

“As well as its industrial scale, VW also has the advantage of continuing to sell combustion engine cars – at higher margins than is possible with electric cars – in markets around the world to help finance the shift to electric over the next ten years. Unlike some other carmakers, VW has notably not set a date for going ‘all electric’.”

 

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Germany’s First Electric Car Factory Sets New Standards

Germany’s First Electric Car Factory Sets New Standards

The world’s largest car manufacturer is getting ready for the future. Over the next few years, Volkswagen will make a radical transition to e-mobility, and the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau, Germany, will play a key role in this process. With the ID.3 model, the blueprint for the new generation of electric cars is being created here. And the bending experts from Bystronic are also on board. Article by Stefan Jermann, Bystronic.

Much of what happens in the automotive industry goes on behind closed doors. This includes the realignment of the manufacturers towards e-mobility. But when German Chancellor Angela Merkel herself fires the starting signal for the production of the new Volkswagen ID.3, everything is already very much in the open. This was the case in Zwickau, Germany, where the production lines for what could be the most ambitious current project in the entire automotive industry kicked into motion.

The ID.3 is more than just a new model; this new electric car embodies the future of Volkswagen and is intended to usher in a new era. The group has set itself the objective of becoming the leading global manufacturer of e-vehicles. And this mission is being pursued with a vengeance. With investments of €1.2 billion, Volkswagen wants to turn Zwickau into the home of Europe’s largest e-mobility factory. This year, more than 330,000 electric cars are scheduled to roll off the production line—a total of six models from the Volkswagen, Audi, and Seat brands.

Platform for the Whole Family

So far, sales of electric cars have been sluggish. The ID.3 is designed to change this—thanks to an attractive price of below €30,000, rapid charging capability, and a range of up to 550km. Jürgen Stackmann, a member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, promises, “The size of a Golf on the outside, the space of a Passat on the inside, and the acceleration of a GTI.” 

The ID.3, the first model in the ID. family, forms the basis for a zero-emission generation of vehicles. The modular electric drive matrix—MEB for short—offers the necessary scalability from the compact car to the bus. By 2022, it will be incorporated in 27 models of four Group brands. The “ID.R Pikes Peak” prototype has already proven that the sky is the limit. On June 24, 2018, at the mountain race in the United States bearing the same name, the supercar with its 680-horsepower electric four-wheel drive made motor racing history and beat the previous record set by rally legend Sebastien Loeb by a large margin. This sports car will remain a racetrack dream, but it shows in an impressive way what the ID family can achieve.

76-second Cycle Time

Kati Langer stands in Production Hall No. 12. She is inspecting the Xpert 40, which is connected to two Kuka robots in a production cell. The passionate Bystronic saleswoman, who has accompanied the ID.3 project with Volkswagen from the outset, is proud of the system. In order to seamlessly integrate the bending systems into Volkswagen’s workflows, we had to overcome a number of structural challenges,” she explains while we watch the two bending robots at work. 

The first robot removes the part from the container station and deposits it on the centring system. The second robot picks it up, swiftly feeds it to the bending machine, and performs the first of two bending steps. Then it returns the part to the centring system and the first robot completes the remaining bending steps. Subsequently, a stationary system welds two ball nuts to the part. The gripper then picks up the part and places it on the conveyor belt. 

The entire process takes exactly 76 sec. Watching the robots perform their bending sequences is a genuine delight. If you hadn’t seen it with your own eyes, you would hardly believe how elegantly and nimbly the two robots work hand in hand—or rather, gripper in gripper. Subsequently, the bent part is installed in the support structure of the chassis where it stabilizes the undercarriage. A second fully-automatic bending cell manufactures a component that is installed at the front of the car chassis.

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Shifting Gears: Addressing New Requirements In EV Manufacturing

Shifting Gears: Addressing New Requirements In EV Manufacturing

Andy Kuklinski of Ceratizit talks about the electric vehicle trend in the automotive industry, how it has changed the machining landscape, and the new requirements being faced by manufacturers. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Andy Kuklinski

The Ceratizit Group develops and produces highly specialised cutting tools, indexable inserts, rods made from hard materials, and wear parts. Active in more than 80 countries worldwide, the Group has more than 8,000 employees and over 30 production sites. Its innovative hard material solutions are used in various sectors, including mechanical engineering and toolmaking, wood and stone working, in the automotive and aerospace industries, and in the oil, gas and medical industries.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Andy Kuklinski, Head of Segment Automotive/Team Cutting Tools at Ceratizit, talks about the electric vehicle trend in the automotive industry, how it has changed the machining landscape, and the new requirements being faced by manufacturers.

HOW HAVE THE REQUIREMENTS IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES (EVs) CHANGED THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING LANDSCAPE?

Andy Kuklinski (AK): One of the changes is that even more components will be made of aluminium. This will affect and change the manufacturing and supplier strategy. A typical example are cylinder heads and cylinder blocks. While these parts used to be manufactured mainly by the OEMs themselves, the focus is now moving to Tier 1 and even Tier 2 suppliers for the machining of the electric engine casing. We are increasingly seeing former aluminium foundries now responding and manufacturing the finished machined part in the same production facility. So, the landscape, especially the supply chain landscape, will definitely look different towards EV manufacturing.

WHAT KEY CHALLENGES HAVE YOU BEEN HEARING FROM YOUR AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMERS WHO ARE TRANSITIONING TO EV?

AK: We are in constant exchange with our customers and hear again and again how challenging it is to react to the enormous and rapid changes in automotive components. In particular, the R&D and production planning departments are under great time pressure to meet the massively increasing demand for EVs. By supporting them quickly with the right machining concepts, we can mitigate at least some of this pressure.

HOW DO THESE CHALLENGES DIFFER FROM THE TRADITIONAL INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE VEHICLES?

AK: For one thing, the time pressure was much less with the combustion vehicles, since it was not necessary to renew large parts of the portfolio in a short period of time. The product cycles were very finely tuned. For another, the parts that are being created now, especially in the powertrain area, are completely different from the parts that car companies produced in the past—many things are still new and simply bring new challenges. Previous combustion engines were always developed in a similar way and always had the same contours and materials that people knew how to process. In many respects, it was a constant process of optimisation.

HOW ARE THESE CHALLENGES IMPACTING YOUR TECHNOLOGY/PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES?

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The Challenges And Opportunities In EV Manufacturing

The Challenges and Opportunities in EV Manufacturing

Xiaoyu Wang of ANCA discusses the new challenges in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, how EVs will impact the traditional automotive manufacturing industry, and the new opportunities in this global trend.

Xiaoyu Wang

Founded in the 1974 by two engineers, Pat Boland and Pat McCluskey, in Melbourne, Australia, ANCA has become an industry leader for CNC tool and cutter grinding machines, motion controls and sheet metal solutions. Known for its cutting edge technologies and continuous innovation, ANCA’s comprehensive product line includes the FX, MX and TX series CNC machines, as well as its latest integration and automation solutions with the ANCA Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS). ANCA sells to a wide range of industries including aerospace, medical, automotive, electronics and tool manufacturers. 

The company’s growth over the past 45-plus years has been driven by a series of innovations that have revolutionised the production of cutting tools and have impacted the whole of manufacturing. Due to the niche market that ANCA services, it exports 99% of its products with customers in over 45 countries. It has offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil, and the United States, as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide. 

In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Xiaoyu Wang, ANCA’s Product Manager for Gear Tool, discussed the new challenges presented by electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, how EVs will impact the traditional automotive manufacturing industry, and the new opportunities in this global trend. 

HOW HAS THE TREND TOWARD ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) PRODUCTION CHANGED THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING LANDSCAPE AND WHAT ARE THE NEW CHALLENGES FOR MANUFACTURERS?

Xiaoyu Wang (XW): From a CNC tool and cutter supplier’s point of view, EV’s growth in the market is a challenge as well as a revolutionary opportunity. In 2017, 11.8 percent of cutting tool consumption was for automotive manufacturing. However, the rise of EVs and the associated manufacturing changes will significantly impact this. The machining time required for pure EVs will reduce by 50–75 percent compared with traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs). This will result in a decline in overall cutting tool consumption as ICE vehicles’ production stops. Recently, General Motors has pledged to stop making gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

Declining demand for cutting tools is an existential challenge, especially for our customers who serve the automotive industry. However, EVs also provide many opportunities. The new skiving cutters required for manufacturing  the internal gears used in EV transmission is a significant one.

About 45 percent of all gear production is for vehicle transmission. EVs have changed the requirements for the gear industry. For example, the high engine speed of up to 20,000 rpm means a higher gear ratio is required to reduce the speed for efficiency. Additionally, the planetary gear system is more prevalent in the new electric transmission design.

In a planetary gear set, the external gears need to be ground, for which the current production process of hobbing and then grinding can easily accommodate. The problem is with the internal ring gear. Traditionally, the internal gears are produced with shaping or broaching; however shaping is slow while broaching relies on cumbersome tooling. 

Efficiency poses multiple challenges, and EVs noise emission is also of a much higher priority for customers. Some drivers complain that an EV leaves a high pitch ringing in the ear even after driving.  This means gears for EVs need to meet even tighter tolerances. As such the quality requirement has increased from DIN 10 to DIN 6 for the internal gears. The gear industry sees hard skiving as a revolutionary process to produce the millions’ internal ring gears needed for EVs.

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New Trends And Opportunities On The Road To Electromobility

New Trends and Opportunities on the Road to Electromobility

The advent of the electric powertrain has reset the automotive manufacturing landscape, essentially putting everyone back on the same starting line. Article by Marposs.

The automotive and transportation market has been experiencing an epochal transition in recent years that will lead to a complete revision of the mobility concept. The implementation on the vehicle fleet of this transition driving principles—Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared (ACES)—is proceeding decisively, albeit at different speeds. While on the one hand, real solutions for fully autonomous driving have to be considered still a future goal, the spread of electric vehicles (EVs) is seeing a growing trend and must therefore be considered a reality to deal with.

The electrification process is involving a radical revolution in a market such as that of automotive, which was by now consolidated, with well-known and long-established rules and players. The processes of continuous innovation of the traditional powertrain technology, aimed at improving performance and reducing the environmental impact, still moved within the context of technologies related to the internal combustion engine (ICE). The entry of new players into this market was, therefore, conditioned by the ability to bridge huge technological gaps compared to the car OEMs already on the market.

But the advent of the electric powertrain has reset this situation, essentially putting everyone back on the same starting line.

This condition has, first of all, opened the door to new industrial realities, which had never previously worked for the automotive market, but which could possibly boast previous skills in the design and production of strategic components of the electric powertrain, such as electric motors, batteries, or fuel cells.

New Opportunities

It is no coincidence that the best-selling brand on the electric vehicle market today—Tesla—was born as a BEV manufacturer rather than a conversion from existing ICE technologies. Similarly, leading companies in the market for the production of lithium-ion battery cells, intended for portable applications or for stationary storage, have seen new opportunities open up with access to the automotive market.

On the other hand, companies that traditionally worked in the automotive market, car OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, have had to face the need to convert not only their product but also their production facilities towards new technologies.

This situation has favored the Tier1, which were already operating in the supply of components similar to those used in the electric powertrain, evidently facilitated in the transition. Moreover, the need of car OEMs to quickly present themselves to the market with hybrid or full electric solutions initially tipped the scales towards the use of external supply of the main components.

However, this is a transitory condition and hardly sustainable for auto OEMs in the long term, as it excessively shifts the costs of the car to the “buy” side. In fact, all the major car manufacturers are, therefore, gearing up to become more vertically integrated for what concerns the manufacturing of the powertrain, including the electric drive unit, but also of the battery that is the ultimate challenge, even for the big players. 

Addressing the Challenges

This complex scenario is rapidly evolving, but must deal with pre-existing technical and production realities. In fact, it is normal to expect to find new teams of specialists in these technologies within the R&D and prototyping departments. But it is equally frequent that production environments instead see the reconversion to EV projects of personnel coming from long term experience in the ICE world.

On the other hand, specialized companies in the EV sector, not coming from the automotive sector, are now  facing for the first time the production problems and quality standards typical of the automotive world.

In one way or another, there are skills or experience gaps in the field that will take years to fill.

It is in this scenario that companies, like Marposs, are called to offer products and solutions dedicated to quality and process control in the automotive sector.

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Vinfast Embarks On Joint Venture With ProLogium For EV Battery Solution

Vinfast Embarks On Joint Venture With ProLogium For EV Battery Solution

Vinfast, Vietnam’s first national car brand bared its ambition to dominate Vietnam’s electrical vehicle market by embracing ProLogium’s epoch-making solid state automotive battery solution.

A subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, Vinfast has signed a MOU with the leading solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium to accelerate commercialisation of solid-state battery EV in Vietnam.

According to the MOU, the two parties will set up a joint venture to produce automotive solid-state battery(SSB) pack for Vinfast’s EVs. The JV will have priority to purchase PLG’s SSB product and will be licensed to use PLG’s patented SSB pack assembly technology, MAB (Multi-Axis Bipolar+), to produce CIM/CIP SSB pack (cell is module/ cell is pack) locally in Vietnam.  PLG will produce SSB inlays (semi-finished battery cell composed of cathode, solid state electrolyte and anode layer) for the JV at one of its Asian manufacturing centers (expected to reach 1-2 GWh capacity in 2022), which will support mass production schedule of Vinfast EVs in 2023-2024.

Debuted 4 years ago, Vinfast is now ranked number 5 in Vietnam’s automobile market share and has created a wide-spectrum product portfolio. Through its JV partnership with PLG, Vinfast will be enabled to build EVs that boast ultimate safety, substantially longer range, efficient charging time comparable to fuel vehicles, and superiority in both intelligence and performance.

 

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Sustainability A Key Priority For Automotive Sector In 2021 And Beyond

Sustainability A Key Priority For Automotive Sector In 2021 And Beyond

Sustainability will remain a key strategic agenda for automotive companies in 2021 and beyond, with over 75 percent of vehicle manufacturers focused on sustainability in 2020, according to GlobalData. Pirelli & C. SpA, Audi AG and Volkswagen AG were the top companies with mentions of ‘sustainability’ in their filing documents in 2020.

In the automotive sector, Internet of Things (IoT), sustainability and electric vehicles (EVs) continue to be on top of the agendas for automotive companies. Global production of EVs is likely to reach 7.6 million units by 2025, and tightening regulations are likely to force companies to focus on large-scale investments in sustainability and EVs, or face uphill challenges in the future.

“The EV market has the potential to facilitate clear environmental benefits, coupled with steady and sustainable growth. Hence, even contemporary environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) reporting frameworks, such as Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) is also encouraging corporations to report about topics such as Fuel Economy & Use-phase Emissions. Sustainability in general has gained traction in recent times due to regulatory and technical advancements, enhanced social awareness and investor preferences. These have been the major drivers in redirecting the flow of capital from conventional to sustainable automotive businesses,” said Srobon Banerjee, Practice Head, ESG at GlobalData.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, the automotive industry is heading in a greener direction with sustainability as a key driver and theme. Not only are we seeing increasing pressures from the market and regulators tilting the industry rapidly towards electric cars, but manufacturers are seeking to reduce their carbon footprints wherever possible and examining activity all along the value chain,” added David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData.

GlobalData’s Job Analytics database also identified rising job postings for electric vehicles. For example, Hyundai has sped up its eco-mobility hiring, while Apple has also stepped up hiring for its future electric car.

Pereira adds: “Another rising trend in the auto sector is the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Mentions of FCEVs and related keywords in all filings rose by around 10 percent in 2020.”

By 2040, GlobalData expects passenger cars to be the most prominent new application of hydrogen.

Pereira concludes: “Initiatives by Ford and Land Rover to go all electric in specific regions in the next few years is commendable. Long-term sustainability strategies are necessary for auto companies to regain trust amid several emission scandals, while also avoiding governance laggards.”

 

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Vehicle Excise Tax Restructuring To Support EV Sales In Thailand

Vehicle Excise Tax Restructuring To Support EV Sales In Thailand

The restructuring of vehicle excise tax, which is under study and tentatively planned to be implemented by 2026, will act as a catalyst to Thailand’s electric vehicles (EVs) sales and consequently, its roadmap. The country aims to achieve 30 percent share of EVs in total production by 2030, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The vehicle excise tax restructuring, presently under discussion with the industry stakeholders, will be a significant move when implemented that will pave the way for increased adoption of eco-friendly vehicle and EVs in Thailand. The vehicle excise tax structure in Thailand levy tax based on emission rate of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) while the restructuring is aimed at increasing the tax rate on the IC engine vehicles to the highest among all the vehicle categories. The move will help to bring down the price differences in IC engines and electric vehicles and make the EVs a more favourable product.

The move is anticipated to gain support from the government as well as OEMs as the country has been struggling with harmful PM2.5 levels in the country. The present vehicle excise tax varies between 20-50 percent for IC engine vehicles depending upon the type of vehicle and the engine capacity. For hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles, the current tax rate is 10 percent, according to The Excise Department.

Bakar Agwan, Senior Automotive Consultant at GlobalData, comments: ‘‘The excise tax restructuring will support the existing government efforts for EV ecosystem development in Thailand. The government has been putting in other efforts to make EV a success story in Thailand which includes a possible car trade-in scheme on cards.”

This will stimulate the EV purchases in the country strengthening the EV infrastructure and also bagging new investments with new set of manufacturing privileges announced by the Board of Investment (BOI) Thailand.

Agwan concludes: “The governmental push through favourable policies is mandatory for increasing the EV adoption. While most of EV boosting efforts by the government were focused on the supply/manufacturing side, the new vehicle tax and the possible car trade-in scheme will stimulate the demand/customer side. Thailand needs more such demand-side efforts in terms of incentives, subsidy, tax benefits etc. to witness an upsurge in EV adoption.”

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